NOTES FROM THE EDITOR (09-20)

Hello everyone— Welcome to the new edition of Jazz History Online, now emanating from our new permanent headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. Many of you have asked why I decided on Wilmington. It was the usual real estate combination: price and location. Apartment rents are much lower here than most cities on the East Coast (and […]

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MINGUS AT ANTIBES (Atlantic 3001 [LP]/Rhino 72871 [CD])

It was hot in the summer of 1960, but it wasn’t all due to the weather. Civil Rights was a regular topic on the evening news. With racial inequality still part of our daily lives in 2020, Thomas Cunniffe felt that it was appropriate to re-examine Charles Mingus’ explosive concert at Antibes from July 1960, featuring Ted Curson, Eric Dolphy, Booker Ervin, Dannie Richmond and special guest Bud Powell.

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BACK TO WORK!

The COVID-19 virus shut down live concerts within a few days. The re-emergence of concerts is a slow process, but Thomas Cunniffe reports that musicians can get back to work if they are willing to create their own opportunities.

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JAZZ IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 (September 2020)

In a continuing series, Jazz History Online devotes its CD Review section to discs issued during the pandemic. Thomas Cunniffe reviews 8 discs this time, including “Artemis”, Dena DeRose’s “Ode to the Road”, Dave Douglas’ “Dizzy Atmosphere”, Sarah Elgeti’s “Dawn Comes Quietly”, Brian Landrus’ “For Now”, Allegra Levy’s “Lose My Number”, Maria Schneider’s “Data Lords” & Kenny Washington’s “What’s the Hurry”.

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Paul Desmond and the Canadians

In the last decade of his life, Paul Desmond only performed occasionally. But when he hired three exceptional Canadian musicians, (Ed Bickert, Don Thompson and Jerry Fuller) to back him for a club date, the music inspired Desmond to some of his finest performances. After years of legal entanglements, Mosaic Records has issued a 7-CD box which includes over 5 hours of unissued recordings by this outstanding ensemble. In this newly revised Historical Essay, Thomas Cunniffe explores the musical legacy of Desmond’s Canadian Quartet.

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VERONICA SWIFT: “HER INFINITE VARIETY”

In “Antony and Cleopatra”, Shakespeare wrote, “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale, her infinite variety”. The words were originally a tribute to the Egyptian queen, but they have special significance in the career of jazz vocalist Veronica Swift. Thomas Cunniffe explores the music and life of this multi-talented young lady in this JHO Profile.

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Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s “Such Sweet Thunder”

Newly revised to include the premiere performance in Stratford! In 1956, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn spent a week at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival. Inspired by the performances of the Bard’s plays, Ellington promised that he and Strayhorn would write a new Shakespeare-inspired suite for the next year’s festival. The result was Such Sweet Thunder, one of the most highly acclaimed albums in the Ellington discography. In this Historical Essay, Thomas Cunniffe explores the suite in depth, offering historical and musical background for this important recording. A rare aircheck of the Ellington orchestra performing portions of the suite is also included in this extended article.

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